Shimla Hill Station

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Shimla (Introduction)
Shimla, the summer capital of the British India, is situated at a height of 2,196 metres. While the British have left the echoes linger on. today, its well developed facilities, easy accessibility and many attractions make it one of India's most popular resorts. In the Himalyan lower ranges, it is surrounded by pine, cedar, oak and rhododendron forests.

Shimla is located towards the southern parts of the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Now It is the state capital and is at a distance of 343 km from Delhi, 260 km from Manali, and 119 km from Chandigarh. The temperature range is not very high and the maximum temperature rarely crosses 25°C during summers. Winters are cold due to the chilly winds from the upper Himalayas.

Shimla ( History)
The British discovered Shimla in the form of a little village in 1819. Until then, it was a part of the Nepalese kingdom. It was during Lord William Bentinck's time that Shimla was truly acquired by the Government of India. The British persuaded the local Raja to part with the land in 1830, and the settlement became the subcontinent's most fashionable summer resort. In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of India. After the independence of India, Shimla became the capital of Punjab until 1966, when it came under Himachal Pradesh.

SITES TO VISIT
Ridge: The Ridge is one place in Shimla where you must spend at least a couple of hours in a day, basking in the lazy sun. You won't be alone though, for the Ridge is perpetually swarming with the young and the old, out for a chitter-chatter stroll, a plate-full of chaat or a few shutterbug clicks of poses against the distant peaks.

Lakkad Bazaar: Find this world of wooden marvels right below the ridge. Lakkad Bazaar offers anything and everything you can imagine carved out of wood. From key chains, walking sticks, massagers, toys and jewellery boxes to sailor's wheels, planters and stationary holders - Lakkad Bazaar gives you plenty to pick from and take back home for friends and relatives, without flattening your wallets.

St Michael’s: St Michael's Cathedral is a stained-glass masterpiece. Once considered the finest cathedral in India, it depicts Hope, Faith, Patience and Humility.

Institute of Advanced Studies: Built in 1888, the institute was originally the Viceregal Lodge. It's a magnificent English Renaissance grey-stone edifice set admist beautiful gardens and lawns. Entry is by ticket. The grounds are open for visitors only on Sundays.

Tara Devi Temple: Situated atop a hill, Tara Devi leaves visitors gasping at the panoramic views. Built amidst oak and rhododendrons, it is accessible by road, rail and by foot.

SITES NEARBY
Naldhera: Naldhera, with its brilliant green landscape and dappled sunlight, is a recreational getaway 22 km from Shimla. You'll find charming log huts and also regular rooms. The Golf Course and the cedar forest (for its heavenly treks and pretty picnic spots) are the main attractions here. The log huts (HPTDC) cost between Rs 800 and Rs 1,000 (Tel: 487 809). The nearby Golf Glade Hotel offers rooms at the same cost.

Chail: Visit the highest cricket pitch and the highest polo ground in the world in Chail. Once the summer capital of Patiala, the town is worth a day's tour. Located 45 km from Shimla (via Kufri).

Fagu: Situated along the National Highway, about 22 km from Shimla, Fagu offers pleasant views of the distant Himalayas along with some fun treks. Include a trip to the Deshumata Temple in your visit to Fagu. You will be lured to the apple orchards simply by their sweet fragrance.

Kufri: Kufri is a half-hour's drive out of Shimla (12 km). Loaded with hundreds of picnic and look-out points, it even has a deer park. Something else you'll find in abundance here are the quaint souvenir shops. The Kufri slopes are a hot favourite with snow seekers.

Narkanda: Narkanda, 64 km from Shimla, offers wonderful slopes for skiing. At an elevation of 2708 m, it has dense pine forests. Hatu peak, 8 km from Narkanda, provides a striking panorama of the plains below.

Sarahan: Sarahan is a small village worth visiting. It provides a spectacular view of Shrikhand Mahadev (5224 m) and hiking opportunities to the nearby villages such as Ranwin and Bashal Peak. The Bhimakali temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga, is the finest example of Himachali architecture.

Tattapani: Tattapani (STD Code 0117), 51 km from Shimla, is a spot well known for hot sulfurous springs.

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